Found smack dab in the middle of NSW’s Lower Hunter Valley, Pokolbin jealously houses some of the Hunter’s best vineyards.

The looming Brokenback Ranges offer a majestic background to the uniform lines of grape vines in the 120 wineries of this area, as well as the award-winning Hunter Valley Gardens. In the 19th Century, Pokolbin once had the grand idea of being the major hub of the wine valley. That town was renamed Cessnock and poor Pokolbin was shafted west to where it is today.

“Australia’s best-organised wineries region, if not the most beautiful.” – Justin Wastnage

More of a collection of vineyards and houses, there’s no main street in Pokolbin (pop 625), however there are plenty of well-stocked wineries offering the best in food, gifts and, of course, wine. Sunrises happen spectacularly here as the sun drifts across the valley and ranges, and there’s hot air ballooning to make the best of the scenery over the picturesque vineyards.

Other countries make an appearance in Pokolbin, with an Indian mosaic tea garden, a traditional Chinese garden and an Italian grotto all nestled within the Hunter Valley Gardens. October is a musical month for Pokolbin with the Opera in the Vineyards and Jazz in the Vineyards, both held annually.

Where? // Pokolbin is 150km (2.5hrs) north of Sydney in the Lower Hunter Valley, about 12km from Cessnock.

Did you know? // James Busby brought the first vine cuttings to Pokolbin from France and Spain in the 1830s. Later, Busby moved to New Zealand where he co-authored the treaty of Waitangi.


Enjoy this article?

You can find it in Issue 26 along with
loads of other great stories and tips.